FW: Lexis-Nexis (was r.e. Your name, SSN, etc.)

Daniel J. Berger (bergerd@bluffton.edu)
Wed, 18 Sep 1996 17:48:24 -0400

I have been corrected on the information I forwarded to y'all today. I =
ask your pardon.

Thanks to Loren Johns of Bluffton College for bringing this to my =

Dan Berger

From: Johns, Loren
Sent: Wednesday, September 18, 1996 3:48 PM
Subject: Lexis-Nexis

For those of you who are interested in the Lexis-Nexis publication of =
your personal data on the Internet, I have copied below Lexis-Nexis's =
own statement intended to calm public fears.

My summary: Lexis-Nexis discontinued publication of social security =
numbers on June 11, 1996. L-N now makes only the following information =
available: names, addresses, month and year of birth, and telephone =
number. This information is available only to legal and law-enforcement =
professionals, not to the general public. They have never made available =
credit histories, bank account information, credit card numbers, medical =
histories, or other personal financial histories.

Statement on the P-TRAK file from LEXIS-NEXIS

LEXIS-NEXIS markets the P-TRAK file to the legal community for
use by general legal practitioners, litigators and public attorneys,
as well as law enforcement agencies and police departments. These
professionals use the P-TRAK file to assist in locating litigants,
witnesses, shareholders, debtors, heirs and beneficiaries.

It's important to note that LEXIS-NEXIS is a business-to-business
service and is not a consumer online service. The LEXIS-NEXIS
service is targeted to and used by attorneys, businesses and government

LEXIS-NEXIS is aware of the sensitivities regarding the potential
misuse of information. While business competitors of LEXIS-NEXIS
have for some time made Social Security numbers available to users
of their services, and continue to do so, LEXIS-NEXIS discontinued
the display of Social Security numbers in the P-TRAK file as of
June 11, 1996, eleven days after the product was introduced.

There has been much erroneous information distributed
on the Internet regarding the data displayed in the P-TRAK
file. The displayed record may, but not always, include the
name of the individual, the individual's maiden and assumed names,
current as well as up to two previous addresses, month and year
of birth and telephone number. That is the only information displayed
in the P-TRAK file.

Contrary to some messages that have been posted to some Internet
discussion and news groups, the P-TRAK file does not contain any
credit histories, bank account information or other personal financial
data, or medical histories.

The information displayed in the P-TRAK file is an aggregation readily =
from public information sources such as telephone directories
(in print and CD-ROM format) and public records maintained by
government agencies.

Through its actions, LEXIS-NEXIS is balancing the privacy concerns
of the public with the legitimate needs of legal, business and
government professionals for access to accurate sources of publicly
available information. By discontinuing the display of Social
Security numbers in P-TRAK and only providing information that
is already available to the public from other sources, LEXIS-NEXIS
believes it has responsibly met the expressed concerns of the

Please direct any comments to